Yesterday Ukraine transmitted 276 mcm of Russian gas to the EU border, up from 230 mcm transmitted during the preceding day. The 20% increase is much sharper than Naftogaz must accommodate within one gas day according to the gas transit contract with Gazprom.

Gazprom explained in its request that larger gas volumes needed to be transported because of the maintenance works on the Nord Stream pipeline.

The Russian gas monopoly has given no advance warning to neither Naftogaz nor Ukrtransgaz, Ukraine's transmission system operator, of the expected request increase above the contractual rates. In the same time, Gazprom has reported that it approved the plans for the maintenance halt of the Nord Stream pipeline with its European clients back in December 2015.

Ukraine's Direct Stream is the traditional and the only alternative route for the gas volumes delivered to the EU via the Nord Stream.